Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend relieves pressure on families amid pandemic

Posted at 5:19 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 17:19:51-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Keeping kids safe while bringing parents peace of mind, the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend is helping families get through the pandemic.

"I've been coming here since I was seven years old," said Nina Fisher about the Boys and Girls Club. "I'm 16."

Fisher says she loves going to the Boys & Girls Club in Tallahassee. She's one of 700 served across the Big Bend right now.

"They're like my family," said Fisher. "They support me through everything."

Including the pandemic.

"It's been kind of tough," said Dionne Roberts, Nina Fisher's mother.

Roberts says the clubs have helped her daughter adjust to virtual learning and social distancing.

"They helped us through a lot of it," said Roberts. "Truly, I don't think we'd be where we are."

"Our parents and kids, lots of our surveys show they're still struggling," said Kacy Dennis, the Director of Operations for Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Bend.

"I love what I do," Dennis said.

Since the pandemic started, he's helped institute changes at the eight clubs serving Leon and Gadsden counties.

"We check temperatures," said Dennis. "All of our kids are wearing masks."

Social distancing is also part of keeping kids safe. Before the pandemic, the gym could be filled with 200 kids. Now they limit it to just 30.

"We never turn away a child for inability to pay," Dennis said.

It is relieving some of the pressure for families.

"If we need something, I know they're there to support us," said Roberts.

It is helping keep kids like Nina Fisher on the right track.

"It's been great," Fisher said. "They've been with me through my bad times and good times."

Boys & Girls Club of the Big Bend is also partnering with Comcast to get cheaper internet to families working through the pandemic.

The club is open to kids ages six through 18. For more information, click here.